On Monday, U.S. News & World Report released its annual ranking of the best colleges and universities in the country. The rankings are based on six categories, which are each weighted differently. They are:
- Student outcomes (40%).
- Faculty resources (20%).
- Expert opinion (20%).
- Financial resources (10%).
- Student excellence (7%).
- Alumni giving (3%).
This year’s top universities share many things in common. They are all prestigious schools with large endowments and four of the top five are Ivy League schools. That said, they are also incredibly difficult to get into, with admitted students boasting strong high school records and impressive standardized test scores.
Coming in at number one is Princeton University, maintaining its spot as the highest-ranked university in the country. The ranking is due in part to a student-to-faculty ratio of four to one, as well as a strong student retention rate – an estimated 98% of Princeton students graduate within six years.
Number two was a three-way tie between Columbia University in New York City, Harvard University in Cambridge and Massachusetts Institute of Technology also in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, closed out the top five.
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